FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Monday, March 27, 2006

Coffee is Hotter than Ever

Over the past decade, sales of coffee worldwide have more than doubled, from $30 billion in 1996 to $70 billion today. Give credit to the marketing power of Starbucks... as well as our hectic lifestyles that deprive us of sleep and require constant caffeine fixes. Recent research documenting health benefits of coffee haven't hurt either.

Now, beverage giant Coca-Cola is getting in on the act, with an array of patents and registered trademarks for to-be-released coffee products as well as a coffee-flavored cola called "Coca-Cola Blak." McDonald's is likewise trying to attract discriminating coffee drinkers with premium roasts.

Growing along with coffee is the popularity of coffee houses -- so great that coffee houses have begun to replace the legendary pubs along London's Fleet Street. Although this is something of a chicken-and-egg phenomenon (does coffee beget coffee houses, or vice versa?), coffee houses have gained popularity as meeting places and secondary workplaces with Internet connectivity -- indeed, usurping the role of the local bar in many communities.

SORTA KINDA RELATED: Downing java by the gallon just to stay awake? You might want to "Take Back Your Time" during Sleep Awareness Week, March 27 - April 2.